Always looking for quality at a good price, I have 5 more personal recommendations for spring 2016 for solo travelers. (For 700,000+ lodging options at all price levels, return to our home page search box in the right hand column!)
- Cephalonia-the “other” Greek Isles. The latter quickly come to mind as Santorini and Mykonos off Greece’s eastern shores. However, I was intrigued when a friend from Athens told me about the islands to the west of the Greek peninsula, the largest of which is Cephalonia. Besides sunshine and beaches, it offers an historic past and even caves to explore. Best of all the spring prices offer $90/night for 4-star lodging.
- European River Cruises from $2449 including France. I highly recommend river cruises if you can book with no single supplement. (Please note those slots are always limited so don’t delay.) If you compare included meals, tours and accommodations, the pricing is very competitive with typically loftier western European options. Secondly, especially for first time solo travelers, it affords an opportunity for privacy but with a ready-made group for tours and meals. Lastly, if security is a concern, a river cruise allows you to avoid being alone in a new foreign city after dark looking for dinner.
- Ski-Montana/Whistler. As an “intermittent Intermediate” skier, I always find mid-season ski resort prices higher than I want to spend. The solution? Spring skiing where prices are lower. I spent an early April week in Big Sky, Montana. Although I fund the slopes challenging, everyone was warmly welcoming and adding a day trip to national parks like Yellowstone was easy and rounded out the trip for me. (Look for the “bison”/don’t say “buffalo” despite having sung “Home on the Range” as a child!) (Big Sky had offerings from $134 mid-Apr 2016 while Whistler in western Canada had 4-star listings from $112 on April 5, 2016.)
- Central and Eastern Europe are still affordable even at the high-end and especially off-season. Think Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia. I admit to having a decades’ long fascination with the former Yugoslavia’s small, storied spas at Bled, Slovenia. Fans of Downton Abbey will regale in this chic Old Europe destination. Admittedly arriving without much style by public bus from the capital, I did have a real change of pace staying at one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the 5-star Grand Hotel Toplice. (It has been featured recently from $148 for mid-April 2016.)
- Crete. Not every island is only a honeymooners’ destination. Crete is a great example because it offers historical and archaeological sites not merely sunshine and beaches. Although 5-star offerings did increase from $77/day Feb 2016 to $148 early in May 2016, check out the search box for lodgings on our home page for more economical offerings.
If you can’t take advantage of April-May pre-season price reductions, look for bookings now for Sept. 9 and thereafter and in ski resorts when they open before the holidays.